Florida Professor Turns Sabbatical into Mission Trips

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Jim Bode, professor of network services technology at State College of Florida, turned a recent sabbatical into three mission trips to share his computer skills in Nicaragua, Peru, and the Dominican Republic.

“What was really cool was that the trips were all so different,” said Bode of the three trips that took place in November, March, and April.

In Nicaragua, he taught computer skills to 155 missionaries from many denominations and worked on computers at Nicaragua Christian Academy, a school started by Christian Reformed missionaries.

In the Dominican Republic, Bode and his brother-in-law, Ken Poll, assembled and repaired computer systems at 21 Christian schools.

And in Peru he and brother Jon Bode worked with Wycliffe Bible Translators to create an Internet connection in the jungle. The connection is already helping missionaries as they translate the Bible into local languages.

Bode’s congregation, Bradenton (Fla.) Christian Reformed Church, paid his airfare and some lodging costs.

Bode hopes to encourage anyone who might have skills that are not traditionally associated with the mission field to pursue missions anyhow.

“A lot of people underestimate what they’re capable of doing,” said Bode. “God’s opportunities will be more than plentiful for someone who’s available.”

About the Author

Roxanne VanFarowe is a freelance writer who lives in the woods with her artist husband James and their five children in Hillsborough, North Carolina. They are members of Blacknall Presbyterian Church in Durham.